South Korea's Kompsat-5 Earth observation satellite was successfully launched from the Dombarovsky Launch Site, Yasny, Russia. Thales Alenia Space developed the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payload system under contract to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). Kompsat-5 is South Korea's first SAR type Earth observation satellite, which will primarily be used for environmental monitoring in the Korean peninsula.

After delivering the payload to Korea, Thales Alenia Space was involved in all satellite assembly, integration and testing (AIT) operations prior to launch, first at the satellite integration facility in Daejeon, Korea, and then at the launch site in Russia. The company was responsible for the design and development of the X-band payload, based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, which will take high-resolution images of the Earth.

Thales Alenia Space also provided engineering support services to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute during the design of the payload, and teamed up with KARI for joint satellite/mission engineering services. The company developed and built the payload at its plants in Rome, L’Aquila, Milan and Turin, as well as through collaboration with major subcontractors such as Selex Galileo (Finmeccanica Group).

The payload contract also included the data link subsystem (DLS), used to store and transmit the images acquired by the radar instrument. Thales Alenia Space supplied other major equipment items on this satellite, including ground support equipment (GSE), image processing and calibration software, ground calibration passive antennas, demonstration models and simulators.

“Kompsat-5 clearly shows that the expertise we have built up over the years in advanced observation system, from ERS to COSMO-SkyMed, has made Thales Alenia Space a world leader in space technology and systems engineering”, said Massimo Di Lazzaro, Executive